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Native Natural Remedies » Dog Health » Recognize the Signs of Canine Diabetes

Recognize the Signs of Canine Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes is a fairly common condition in dogs. As scary as it might sound, it is not the end of the world for your dog because canine diabetes is manageable if proper care is taken. Diet, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels and medication are the key aspects of proper care.

If not treated, Diabetes can lead to the early death of the dog.  High blood sugar levels produce clinical symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats that can help in early detection.

Diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels rise due to the inability of pancreas to produce enough insulin to manage the glucose levels  (a primary sugar) in the food that the dog ingests.  In another situation, cells become resistant to the action of insulin, which also results in a high blood sugar level. If not managed within reasonable time, it leads to abnormally high blood sugar levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia.

High blood sugar results when the dog’s body is unable to process and convert glucose to energy for maintaining healthy growth. The excess glucose in the blood has to go somewhere if it is not used by the body’s systems and it leaks over to the urine. This leads to excessive urination (polyuria). As fluids in the body reduce, the dog feels the need to drink more (polydipsia) to compensate for the fluid loss due to excessive urination.

Besides these two most prominent symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats, some of the other symptoms indicative of diabetes are:

* Weight loss
* Poor skin and hair coat
* Frequent bladder infections

If you observe any of these signs, a veterinarian should be consulted at the first opportunity because untreated diabetes can lead to:

* Loss of appetite
* Vomiting
* Diabetic neuropathy, especially weakness in rear legs
* Dehydration

Left untreated, diabetes can progress into other life threatening disorders such as diabetic acidosis, a condition of abnormally high acidity accompanied by an accumulation of ketone bodies.  Some of the other complications arising out of unregulated blood sugar levels include liver and kidney dysfunction and canine blindness.

The cause of diabetes still remains a mystery despite the research that has been done in this area. Chronic inflammation of the pancreas and genetic predisposition are often suspected to be the cause in most of the cases. Breeds like Poodles, Schnauzers, Keeshounds, Cairn Terriers, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels and Beagles are more predisposed to developing diabetes.

Once your dog has been diagnosed for diabetes, close monitoring of the diet and regular checking of blood sugar levels is absolutely necessary. Minor increases in blood sugar levels can be managed by controlling and regulating the diet. Abnormally high levels will require insulin injections and the injection of insulin needs to be correlated with the amount, quality and timing of food intake.

If you are taking care of your dog at home, make sure you get proper instructions about how and when to inject insulin on your own. Since excess insulin can lead to hypoglycemia or extremely low blood sugar levels, this is another area that you must understand well.

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